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Plano Hotel To Bring Japanese Hospitality Customs To North Texas

A first-of-its-kind hotel aimed at introducing Americans to Japanese culture is headed for Plano.

The 217-key Miyako Hotel at the Campus at Legacy West will accommodate Japanese employees visiting Toyota's North American headquarters while also serving as an experiential destination for American guests.

To attract both groups, owners tasked the design and development teams with creating a concept that blends the sophistication of Japanese culture with the grandiosity of Texas.

A rendering of the Miyako Hotel in Plano

“It’s really about bringing the Japanese experience to Texas,” said Alejandro Guerrero, a principal and design director in Gensler’s Dallas office. “Those that are not necessarily coming from Japan but are coming because they want to live that experience are going to have that opportunity.” 

Japan-based luxury hotel firm Kintetsu Enterprises Company of America bought the property in 2019 after being approached by Toyota. The Miyako Hotels & Resorts brand is prolific in Japan and includes two properties in California, but Kintetsu executives are hoping the Plano location will be the launching pad for more U.S. locations.

Garfield Public/Private, the project’s local development manager, plans to begin construction on the site early next year. Average rates are to be determined, but Chief Development Officer Steve Galbreath said the hotel should be accessible to a range of incomes.

“The team is doing everything they can to make this project as affordable as we can,” he said. “It’s not just going to be the chairman of companies and senior executives that stay here. This is going to be a hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously but is going to be very nice.”

Visitors will be exposed to Japanese hospitality not just through traditional architecture, interior design and landscaping, but also through eastern rituals uncommon in the western world. Japanese cuisine will be offered through an on-site restaurant and bakery. 

Looney & Associates is designing the hotel's interior. Rooms will feature traditional Japanese elements like soaking tubs, and guests will have access to ceremonial tea rituals. Meeting space will include options for both table and floor seating.

“There’s going to be things that Westerners aren’t used to but that have been done for centuries in other parts of the world,” Galbreath said.

A rendering of one of the outdoor areas at the Miyako Hotel

Guerrero and his team were able to identify similarities between Japan and Texas' respective cultures. Design plans feature nods to both, including Japanese gardens that include native Texas plants and a light feature at the top of the building that mimics both a Japanese lantern and a North Texas skyscraper.

Highlighting connections to nature was a key piece of the design, Guerrero said. Elements like a large retention pond and intentional framing of landscaped areas was critical to creating an environment guests would feel was removed from the sprawling urban campus. 

“You can argue that the hotel is in the middle of it all,” he said. “But at the same time, the idea is that as you pull into the building, the journey begins and you’re removed from that environment, and you’re almost going through a portal-like entry that takes you into a different dimension.”

Construction on the hotel is slated to take two years to complete. Galbreath and Guerrero are confident the Miyako will be more of an institution than a novelty. 

“A ton of people are going to come try it out, but we have to make sure we deliver on what they were looking for so they come back again,” Galbreath said.